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Breckwell Big E lazy flame and burn pot build up

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by brack86svo, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    My brother in law has a Big E in his basement. The flame is sort of lazy and he gets a ton of ash build up on either side of the burn pot, to the point where it will eventually not make it out of the pot and smother the fire.
    If I pull the damper all the way out, it barely moves the pellets around. My big E, will blow the fire out with the damper all the way out even on the highest setting. He runs his stove on the middle setting.
    His stove has run like this since new. He used to have it in his garage with no OAK. We installed it in his basement with an OAK. The only difference now is no creosote, which I attribute to the OAK.

    So far.....
    I've tried a different control board to see if the combustion blower wasn't getting enough voltage. With the stove running, I have 120 volts to the blower.

    I removed the combustion blower and it's as clean as a wistle. The combustion blower runs quiet. There was no build up in or around where the blower goes, and no restrictions. The blower looked like it came out of stove that burnt maybe 2 bags.

    I removed the ash doors inside the stove, and there was almost no ash back there. He had never cleaned behind there since he got it. I have to clean behind mine once every two weeks.

    I checked the gaskets on the ash pan and door with a candle lighter, and found no change in the flame.

    The burn pot has a tight seal around it, so I don't believe there is any air loss there.

    The stack is clean. We cleaned it before installing it in the basement, and I gave it a good once over while I was testing everything.

    It's feeding pellets just fine. It's a lack of air issue if anything.

    Anyone have any ideas?

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Have you tried smacking the back wall with a soft mallet in a few area's? If there is little ash at the clean out doors its likely clogged up on top. The doors are usually filled half way up the door in a few weeks.
  3. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    Yes, I tried that. When I removed the doors and found absolutely nothing behind them, I used a hammer on the back wall and tapped it. I got little to nothing to fall down. Everything from the back wall to end of the stack literally looks like the stove is brand new. When it's burning and you get fly ash off the fire, it doesn't make it up and over that wall like mine does.
  4. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    His stove also doesn't have those baffle plates that Breckwell used to fix some sort of issue on these stoves. From what I have read about those plates, they are meant to slow down air leaving the stove. I have a set of those plates that I made and tried on mine (made the stove run like crap) but, his problem is the exact opposite, not enough air going through the stove.
  5. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    warped stove is going to get my money. Take a 24" long or longer straight edge and place it across the door and ash pan area. I bet it is pulled in 1/8". I have numerous posts about Breckwell units so do a search and you will see reference pictures.

    Eric
  6. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    I will check that. My stove has a lip all the way around where the door seals, his is just flat. I did do a test around the seals and saw no change but, I will test anything at this point to figure it out.
  7. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    also check the ash pan.
  8. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    I will try that. I'm glad I don't have an ash pan, thing is worthless.
    kinsmanstoves likes this.
  9. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    What is the EVL? If it's in the basement, it might be high? Please describe the venting, piece by piece, unless you have figured the EVL out already.
  10. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    His is 15.5. Mine is 18 and runs fine. He is border line needing 4", and I probably should be for sure but, I have no air issues at all.
  11. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    The plates were to slow the air flow down on some of the bige's. But they didn't have lazy flame or burnpot over filling. They didn't throw heat, But you could send pellets out of the burnpot no problem if you opened the damper.

    Major clog or drastic air leak is what I would be looking for. Warped front like Eric mentioned is the likely culprit.
    kinsmanstoves likes this.
  12. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    I removed the door and ash pan. Checked the face of the stove with a straight edge. The face is straight/flat. Put it all back on and ran the stove.

    When the stove lit, I closed the damper and I could hear a whistling noise near the bottom of the door. It's the air wash. I covered the air wash and it runs how mine does.

    Mine looks like it has an air wash but, I guess it's clogged up. My glass is dirty within 3 or 4 hours. I cleaned his stove 5 days ago and the glass was still clean when I showed up today. Either my stove doesn't run right, or his doesn't. I like how mine runs better.

    The manual says the rod should be out about 3/4 of an inch. That's about where I run mine, maybe even a little less. His is out an inch to inch and a half on the medium setting.

    So, I guess that's just the way his stove runs. He is having a natural gas boiler installed in a couple weeks, and will only use the stove to warm the basement when entertaining. I told him we'll just leave it be since the stove won't get much use.
  13. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    My stove has air wash. I removed the bottom plate that holds the glass. Someone must of had the plate off before, because I found one of the washers that space the plate away stuck in the gap. I put it back together with washers to space it away and make the air wash work. fired up the stove and it runs exactly the same as it did before. Something is not right with his stove, and I have no clue what it is. The air going through his burn pot just seems way to weak.
  14. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Try plugging the air wash to see if it improves. I bet it won't. I pretty sure if you haven't found a leak. Its gonna be a glog in the back wall area. Any excess to a bore-a-scope?

    Edit: One more place to look is the passage from the stove to the combustion motor. It necks down and can clog. I used a pipe brush to prode out what I could.
  15. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    I did plug the air wash with a piece of electrical tape and it did improve.

    I don't have a scope but, it is something I've considered buying everytime the tool guys have them on sale.

    When I removed his combustion blower, I did run a brush in towards the the stove and the outlet as well. It was clean. His stove is spotless back there. I won't rule out a clog up high, and if I can get a scope, I'll take a peak back there.
  16. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Thats about the only place left. How much better with the plugged air wash? Maybe try a partial open airwash?
  17. brack86svo

    brack86svo New Member

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    His seemed a good bit better with the air wash blocked. Since he will only be using it every once in awhile when the NG boiler is installed, I told him we'll just let it be.

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